Granollers/Zeballos Earn Second Win In London
Fourth seeds own 24-6 team record this year
Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos solidified their position at the top of Group Bob Bryan on Wednesday with a 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 10-8 victory against Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares at the Nitto ATP Finals.
The fourth seeds saved all six break points they faced, including four deciding points, to boost their chances of reaching the semi-finals in London. Granollers and Zeballos move to 2-0 in round-robin play, having also defeated John Peers and Michael Venus in straight sets on Monday. The Rome champions will qualify for the last four at The O2 if Peers and Venus defeat Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the evening session.
“They saved two match points [in the Match Tie-break] with amazing points, but we were playing really good and we had match point on serve,” said Granollers. “We had to focus on that point. Horacio served a wide serve and Bruno missed the return… The match was really close and we are very happy.”
Granollers and Zeballos have taken a 2-1 lead in their ATP Head2Head series against Pavic and Soares. The teams split their first two meetings earlier this year at the US Open (Pavic/Soares) and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Granollers/Zeballos).
“[Marcel] is very positive,” said Zeballos. “He is always trying to go forward, not thinking about the past, and that is really important… I think that is one of the best things we are doing this week.”
Granollers and Zeballos were put under pressure in the first set, but they found big serves to save three break points and reach a tie-break. Zeballos found success on his return as he attacked Soares at the net and he fired an ace out wide to claim the first set.
The second set followed a similar pattern, with Granollers and Zeballos holding their nerves to save three more break points at the net. After saving match point on his serve at 5-6, deciding point, Soares extracted a volley error from Granollers and showed great reflexes at the net to clinch the second set.
Granollers and Zeballos outmanoeuvred their opponents at the net with a mix of power and precision to earn a 5/2 lead in the Match Tie-break. The Rome champions converted their fourth match point to end the two-hour, four-minute contest.
Pavic and Soares drop to 1-1 in Group Bob Bryan. The Croatian-Brazilian pair is also attempting to reach the semi-finals at The O2 on their tournament debut. Pavic and Soares will meet Peers and Venus in their final round-robin match on Friday.